This time last year The Guardian were giving away a series of booklets on the great speeches of the 20th Century. Each was a lovingly produced tribute to the eloquence, brilliance, bravery and wit of some of the sharpest and most radical orators in history. There was Roosevelt’s The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, Martin Luther King’s I have a dream, Churchill’s We shall fight them on the beaches, and Kevin Keegan’s I will love it if we beat them.* I collected them all. I was in hospital at the time, and I was glad of them to read. Although I actually used the back cover of Margaret Thatcher’s The lady’s not for turning to record my bowel movements for the very first time. You could say the inside was full of her shit, and the outside full of mine. So, yes, it really was a year ago, that propped up in my hospital bed I wrote a very early incarnation of what was to become Wednesday’s diary on a Thursday. There I was wearing my brand new pyjamas – everyone going into hospital buys new pyjamas for the occasion. And quite often a new wash bag, too. In fact besides MRSA, the two most common things you leave hospital with that you didn’t have before you went in are new pyjamas and a new wash bag. Anyway, I just wanted to record the fact that 365 days have passed since I was incarcerated in a hospital in Coventry. And how things have changed. I seem to be responding well to my medication, I no longer pass blood and my poos look more like proper poos. Someone once said a year is a long time in politics. Well, if what they meant by that is a lot can change, then the same could also be said of UC.
*Sadly the Kevin Keegan 'I will love it if we beat them' speech didn't feature in the Great Speeches of the 20th Century series. I think The Guardian may have missed a trick there.